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Introduction to Career Skills
This section of Mind Tools looks at tools and approaches you can use to manage your career successfully. It starts with five articles which help you think about career direction. These tools help you uncover what you do best and identify the types of work that you’ll enjoy doing most. From this, you can figure out how to make the most of your skills and preferences, whether in your current role or in a new one. Amongst these, our article on Personal SWOT Analysis shows you how you can apply the wellknown SWOT strategy tool to your life and career, helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities open to you and the threats you face. This leads naturally into the idea of job crafting. This is something that many of us do subconsciously to some extent, but our article gives you a rigorous approach that you can use to craft your ideal job. Our next group of articles help you to develop your career in various ways. We show you what you can be doing now to future proof your careerand to get ready for promotion. And if you’re frustrated because your hard work and abilities are going unnoticed, find out how to get the recognition you deserve. Of course, despite your best efforts and preparation, careers don’t always go to plan, especially in a volatile economic climate. So we show you how to live with a lack of job security and how to cope with life after job loss. Yet even when the economy’s booming, you can still face challenging career situations such as hitting a “glass ceiling”. Find out what you can do to break through these! We round off this section with two articles that will help you transition through significant events in your career. First, we look at what you can do when you get a new boss, and then we see how to wrap up in one role before moving on.
Personal SWOT Analysis :Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities.
"Chance – Louis Pasteur
You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don't matter in the work you do.
So how you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you do this. What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward. If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.
How to Use the Tool
To perform a personal SWOT analysis, print out our free worksheet, and write down answers to the questions in each area below.
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What advantages do you have that others don't have (for example, skills, certifications, education, or connections)? What do you do better than anyone else? What personal resources can you access? What do other people (and your boss, in particular) see as your strengths? Which of your achievements are you most proud of? What values do you believe in that others fail to exhibit? Are you part of a network that no one else is involved in? If so, what connections do you have with influential people?
Consider this from your own perspective, and from the point of view of the people around you. And don't be modest or shy – be as objective as you can. And if you have any difficulty with this, write down a list of your personal characteristics. Some of these will hopefully be strengths! You can also learn more about identifying your strengths in our article on "Your Reflected Best Self™".
Tip: Think about your strengths in relation to the people around you. For example, if you're a great mathematician and the people around you are also great at math, then this is not likely to be a strength in your current role – it may be a necessity.
• • • •
What tasks do you usually avoid because you don't feel confident doing them? What will the people around you see as your weaknesses? Are you completely confident in your education and skills training? If not, where are you weakest? What are your negative work habits (for example, are you often late, are you disorganized, do you have a short temper, or are you poor at handling stress? Do you have personality traits that hold you back in your field? For instance, if you have to conduct meetings on a regular basis, a fear of public speaking would be a major weakness.
Again, consider this from a personal/internal perspective and an external perspective. Do other people see weaknesses that you don't see? Do coworkers consistently outperform you in key areas? Be realistic – it's best to face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.
• • • • • • •
What new technology can help you? Or can you get help from others or from people via the Internet? Is your industry growing? If so, how can you take advantage of the current market? Do you have a network of strategic contacts to help you, or offer good advice? What trends (management or otherwise) do you see in your company, and how can you take advantage of them? Are any of your competitors failing to do something important? If so, can you take advantage of their mistakes? Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling? Do your customers or vendors complain about something in your company? If so, could you create an opportunity by offering a solution?
You might find useful opportunities in the following:
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Networking events, educational classes, or conferences. A colleague going on an extended leave. Could you take on some of this person's projects to gain experience? A new role or project that forces you to learn new skills, like public speaking or international relations. A company expansion or acquisition. Do you have specific skills (like a second language) that could help with the process?
Also, importantly, look at your strengths, and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities – and look at your weaknesses, and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating those weaknesses.
• • • • •
What obstacles do you currently face at work? Are any of your colleagues competing with you for projects or roles? Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing? Does changing technology threaten your position? Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?
Performing this analysis will often provide key information – it can point out what needs to be done and put problems into perspective.
A Personal SWOT Example
What would a personal SWOT assessment look like? Review this SWOT analysis for Carol, an advertising manager.
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I'm very creative. I often impressing clients with a new perspective on their brands. I communicate well with my clients and team. I have the ability to ask key questions to find just the right marketing angle. I'm completely committed to the success of a client's brand.
• • •
I have a strong, compulsive need to do things quickly and remove them from my "to do" list, and sometimes the quality of my work suffers as a result. This same need to get things done also causes me stress when I have too many tasks. I get nervous when presenting ideas to clients, and this fear of public speaking often takes the passion out of my presentations.
• • •
One of our major competitors has developed a reputation for treating their smaller clients poorly. I'm attending a major marketing conference next month. This will allow for strategic networking, and also offer some great training seminars. Our art director will go on maternity leave soon. Covering her duties while she's away would be a great career development opportunity for me.
• • •
Simon, one of my colleagues, is a much stronger speaker than I am, and he's competing with me for the art director position. Due to recent staff shortages, I'm often overworked, and this negatively impacts my creativity. The current economic climate has resulted in slow growth for the marketing industry. Many firms have laid off staff members, and our company is considering further cutbacks.
As a result of performing this analysis, Carol takes the bold step of approaching her colleague Simon about the art director's maternity leave. Carol proposes that both she and Simon cover the job's duties, working together and each using his or her strengths. To her surprise, Simon likes the idea. He knows he presents very well, but he admits that he's usually impressed by Carol's creative ideas, which he feels are far better than most of his. By working as a team, they have a chance to make their smaller clients feel even better about the service they're getting. This takes advantage of their competitor's weakness in this area.
A SWOT matrix is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that you face. This helps you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
Finding Career Direction
Discover Yourself and Your Purpose
How long has it been since you asked yourself what you want to be when you grow up? If you haven't considered the idea since high school, then you may have settled into a job that is not fulfilling your professional aspirations, or your purpose. Each of us has particular talents that, when expressed or exercised, make the world a better place. Most likely you enjoy doing these things, and you find that people respond well to you when you do them. Perhaps they're things you gravitate towards during out-of-hours activities, and that people respect you for. When you develop these talents as far as you can, you can make your greatest possible contribution to the world, and enjoy personal and professional satisfaction that goes along with this.
Who Am I? 2. and stresses of everyday life.6 Your Career Direction Journey The process of uncovering what you are meant to do.firstly asking you to explore your talents. passionate and enthusiastic? When have you been most creative? When have you been most sure of yourself and your decisions? What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? When have other people considered you to be most successful? When have you enjoyed your work most? What talents were you relying on. Discovering Who You Really Are The first question to answer is "Who am I?" We'll take two approaches to answering this . and secondly using psychometric tests to explore your preferences. defenses. Exploring Your Talents First of all. in these situations? For what would you take a very strong stand? . this journey never really ends because work itself is all about change. you keep yourself heading toward the right career even when the actual direction shifts over time. is a journey. and reinvention. How Do I Get Hired? 1. in which you identify the jobs you want and put yourself in the best possible position to get them. By taking a talent-based approach to your career search right from the start. It starts with discovering the essential "you": the person who truly resides behind the facades. What Do I Want to Do? 3. And it moves on with a focused job or career move. In fact. and using. that is finding career direction. Once unmasked. development. growth. consider your answers to the following questions: • • • • • • • • When have you been most committed. your journey continues with specific career exploration and identification of a career that allows you to make good use of your talents. This approach consists of sequentially answering three questions: 1.
use a technique like paired comparison analysis to rank things in order. Tip: If you're having problems choosing. There are many typologies available including Myers-Briggs. Steadiness and Conscientiousness) and the strength finder evaluation in "Now Discover Your Strengths". Tip 2: It can be hard initially to see how to apply these tests. what would you be doing? Brainstorm each of these questions.you can't capture the whole complexity of your personality and experience with only a few questions. You also discover potential points of friction with people of other personality types. One trick is to turn things around. Tip 3: Treat these tests as advisory only . While no personality type is good or bad.7 • • • • What about the world puzzles or disturbs you that you could make an impact on? What jobs do you like to do at work when you have a choice? What activities are you drawn towards out of work? If money were no concern. Personality Inventories Next. we'll look at using personality inventories as a way of looking at your preferred way of working relative to other people. however considering the importance of what you're doing. it does help you discover what motivates and energizes you. This in turn empowers you to seek those elements in the work you choose to do. Is there a match or a mismatch? We'll do this later. and as you identify possible careers. Rank these in order. and then use your answers to identify the top three talents that you most use when you're successful. DISC (Dominance. Influence. it is probably worth investing in them if you haven't already done so. you'll probably find the tests quite insightful! With personality testing you learn what you have in common with other people. think about what personality type is most likely to be successful in these careers. Tip 1: Some of these cost quite a lot of money. That said. and avoid the things that .
This is an important step toward self-discovery and defining your purpose. and you'll probably underachieve. ill-fitting jobs demand different talents from the ones that you have. your career must be aligned with who you are: Otherwise you'll be unhappy with work. many different people could perform well in these situations. The starting point is to do some brainstorming on the jobs that you think would suit who you are. For your life to be balanced and fulfilled. After all. We'll then confirm this with some different psychometric tests. You then need to spend some time researching the top careers you've identified. your beliefs. 2. Write a "Who I Am" Statement Now draw this together into a simple written statement of who you are. or to prefer one thing to another. then you'll struggle constantly and be under a great deal of stress and pressure. The talents you achieve most with. You choose to react one way over another. As you explore your personality you come to realize that who you are is really determined by the choices you make.8 frustrate and demotivate you. the next stage is to think about what you want to do. . and your way of seeing the world. In psychological terms. and where others didn't. If you try to pursue a career path that is at odds with your values. and this gives you little information. You can take this self-awareness one step further by examining why you make the choices you do. what is your payoff for making the choices you make? When you know the "why" it is easier to see how you can become fulfilled through the work you do. and then extend this list with some more brainstorming. The activities you get most satisfaction from. Finding Out What You Want to Do Now that you know who you are. Focus instead on more difficult areas where you made a positive difference. be careful not just to look back nostalgically at simple jobs where you performed well . Use it to answer the following questions: • • • • What your talents and strengths are. The type of activity the psychometrics you've completed guide you towards.after all. Tip: When you're doing this.
) So start by asking yourself if your current role can be adapted to suit you much better. start thinking about all of the jobs you can see that would suit you someone with the talents and interests in that statement (by depersonalizing it in this way. but limited career selection advice: Princeton Review Career Quiz Chargeable (but inexpensive. or whether similar roles in other organizations might be more rewarding.. who may be much younger than you. a radical career change may be the best thing. Because of this. they can't recommend new careers. Thinking Further The unavoidable flaw with these career tests is that they're based on backward-looking data. Exploring the Options You Know About Starting with your "Who I Am" statement. Once you've done this. extend out and brainstorm the other options available. Using the test results as a starting point. On the other hand. industry and profession.. . do some brainstorming to see if there are new technology careers which demand similar personality types. it puts you in the position of competing equally with other career starters. compared with ditching everything and starting completely afresh (while this sounds glamorous and enticing. Using Career Tests The next stage is to use online career tests to explore options that you might have missed. you help to avoid "being too close to the issue.") Starting here is particularly important if you're already established in a career: It's important to capitalize where you can on the experience and contacts you've already built up.com iii. and with good selections of possible careers): http://www.9 i. Useful ones are: Free. and can only cope with the major career types.self-directed-search. nor do they know about less well-known careers. or if there are more obscure careers that may also be open. if there are other roles within your existing company that would be worth trying.assessment. if you're profoundly unhappy with your company. ii.com http://www.
Reading industry/career magazines and get a sense of how "happy" the industry is. use paired comparison analysis to rank your choices. if you're having trouble prioritizing. Also. Understanding what talents and personalities make people successful in the career. but to cut down to your top 5 or 6 choices (the reason being that when you start researching these careers. job pay levels. rather than a lifetime kicking yourself for making a bad choice! Methods for researching careers include: • Researching the career using sites like Acinet. Understanding where organizations are based. you now need to research the various options you have to make money doing so. and what the issues and problems within it are. Visiting company websites.org. and keep an eye on how companies are talked about in the press. We're not asking you to choose one now. but it is necessary in order to eliminate choices that seem to be great fits on the surface but really won't align with your mission and purpose. Now's the time to cut these down and prioritize them. Attending professional and trade shows. Working part time and/or seasonally in the industry. Yes. and mapping these back against your own talents and personality. Volunteering. But think about the consequences of getting things wrong! Surely it's worth spending time exploring your options. so that you can understand industry trends. and perhaps to move. Perform Career Research Armed with a solid understanding of how you can participate in fulfilling work. looking at job vacancies to see if the career is in demand. job availability. Pulling This Together. You'll now have identifies a wide range of possible careers open to you. v. some of them may turn out to be quite bad!) Again. etc. qualifications needed. this is quite tedious. • • • • • • • • • . and deciding if you're prepared to travel to interviews. who the major players in it are. Participating in job fairs. Conducting your own PEST Analysis to confirm your own view of likely career trends.10 iv. Career research is not something many people relish.
faster. What is your long-term vision for yourself in terms of your career? Write down the steps you need to take or the things you need to accomplish. it is far too easy to get derailed by a lucrative job offer. • These are your short term goals. you may have rejected several possible careers. in order to get there. Now's the time to narrow down to one! Again. Many people tend to move from their purpose right into job search mode.11 Tip: Be careful when using career trends to identify career possibilities: The desire to pursue an up and coming career may overshadow your mission and purpose. Go back and identify contingency plans • Do a "what if" analysis on your goals "If you don't get accepted to grad school this year. This will only lead to dissatisfaction down the road. an opening that Uncle Vinny has. • Be sure to express as SMART objectives. what will you do?" Tip: The more contingency plans you have the more likely you will be able to survive the inevitable setbacks. 3. Also be aware that there's a natural desire from people within an industry to inflate its prospects (to ensure a good supply of new recruits in the future. however so can Grid Analysis which helps you make comparisons where many variables are involved.) Take official figures with a pinch of salt! By the end of all of this research. Tip 2: Recognize that the more opportunities you have. now you need to actually map your progress. the better the job . • • • • Start by writing down the career you want. Answering "How do I Get Hired?" In this last phase you answer. You will also have much more confidence in yourself despite the bumps in the road. or a whole host of other distractions. What qualifications should you get? What experience should you build? Which organization will give you the best start? For each of these steps create a detailed implementation plan. Develop your plan first and you're more likely to get where you want to go. This is a mistake because unless you have a plan. a job that sounds really glamorous. "What am I going to do to get hired?" With your "Who I Am" statement and your research as your compass. Paired Comparison Analysis may be useful here.
• Key Points Finding career direction is a process. Learning is replaced with routine. There are certainly no guarantees but with the right amount of planning and a sufficient dose of reality.12 that you'll be able to choose. You also know when the task you're doing just isn't right for you. Signs a career direction evaluation may be in order: • • • • • • Your job lacks challenge and excitement for you. artistic people would be . emotional work and you may have to go through this process a few times in the span of your working life. You are feeling unappreciated. the career that you are meant for will materialize. The effort however. whatever the industry or the job title. You are no longer having fun. The more effort you put into the planning stages the better your results. is certainly worth it when you end up with a clear sense of the direction your career should be taking. if you’re a science person. or where you need to use your “gut” to guide you. Uncovering your true self and your purpose is heavy. You know when you are in a job you like. Likewise. Concentrate on creating as many opportunities as possible! Now you are free to pursue your dream career with confidence. The trick to finding career satisfaction can be to identify those core interests and match your job to them. you may not be happy working in a job that needs quick decisions. You sense that your skills and talents are being wasted. You are suffering from stress or depression. What lies behind our feelings of work satisfaction or dissatisfaction are our fundamental work interests: These are the things that we enjoy doing. Your promotional and/or development opportunities are limited. For example. Using "Holland's Codes" Shaping a career that suits your personality.
2. Here we look at your work interests – an important part of your work personality. or enjoy working with objects. commercial or "enterprising". Value scientific endeavors. power. we can find ourselves in positions where what we’re doing just doesn’t suit our natural interests and abilities. but often lack leadership skills.13 driven mad in a profession that has lots of rules and procedures. persistent. Value concrete and tangible things like . materialistic. and genuine. those that need interaction with other people. Investigative (I): Investigative people like activities that involve creative investigation of the world or nature. Ability and personality are the two main things contribute towards job satisfaction. we would all choose careers that suit our core interests. Common traits: • Hard-headed. . Common traits: • Analytical. and machines. and reserved. precise. Avoid "social" activities. pessimistic. Realistic (R): These are people who like well-ordered activities. tools. You’re likely to find that jobs that suit your ability and personality are much more rewarding than those that don’t. Realistic people: • • • See themselves as mechanically or athletically talented. Avoid activities that seem mundane. but may not be good with people. and status. Investigative people: • • • See themselves as highly intelligent. However this is not a perfect world: For all sorts of reasons. This is where understanding how job and personality fit together can help you change the situation for the better.money. inflexible. practical. Understanding the Theory: Holland’s Codes In the 1970s John Holland developed a popular theory of interest development based around these six personality types: 1. or which demands a lot of number crunching. In a perfect world. curious. intellectual.
impractical and nonconformist. Value aesthetics. tactful. filing. Conventional people enjoy manipulating data. and exhibitionistic. Common traits: • Extroverted. and organizing written or numerical data. understanding and able to teach others. 5. Value social activities. These Enterprising people: • • • See themselves as aggressive. persuasive. record keeping. Common traits: • Generous. people enjoy reaching Enterprising organizational goals or achieving economic (E): gain. 4. Social people: • • • Perceive themselves as helpful. but may lack scientific ability. adventurous. Common traits: • Idealistic. popular. sensitive. Artistic (A): Artistic people like unstructured activities. developing. curing and enlightening others. optimistic. patient. great leaders and speakers. and enjoy using materials to create art. introspective. Value political and economic achievement. complicated . Avoid "conventional" occupations or situations. Social (S): Social people enjoy informing. Conventional (C): 6. ambitious. Avoid activities demanded by "investigative" occupations and situations. sociable. Conventional people . Artistic people: • • • See themselves as talented artists. reproducing materials. Avoid activities demanded by "realistic" occupations and situations.14 3. training. emphatic. and cooperative.
a Realistic person would be best suited for a Technical job and least suited for Social job. For example. Value business and economic achievement. . Avoid unstructured or "artistic" activities. Jobs with Conventional or Operational characteristics would be the next best choices. Common traits: • Efficient. Holland's conclusion was that for any personality type. and methodical. For example Artistic people are least like Conventional people and most like Social and Investigative people. This is then matched against the Holland's codes of people typically found within particular careers. conscientious. practical. things. The way that this works in practice is that people use a personality test to identify their three top personality types. Holland's theory is that people with different personality types prefer working with different work stimuli. and ideas. below) organized according to people's preference for working with different stimuli at work: people. defensive. data. inflexible. and that the distance between work personalities indicates the degree of difference in interests between them. the career most aligned with that type is most likely to be enjoyable and satisfying.15 • • • See themselves as having clerical and numerical ability. This gives their Holland's code (for example. The Model Holland then arranged these six personality types into a hexagon (see figure 1. ESA).
Here again. There are many of these. One strategy to deal with this is to . family. many of your roles will be in-line with your interests. if you were asked to organize the Christmas party. learn from this!) Tip 1: Do try the online tests – they're not expensive (for example. one costs US$9. just complete steps i and ii below. you might be very uncomfortable about deciding about decorations. (If so. and so on. which is made all the easier by some useful online interest evaluation sites. ask yourself why: Often we choose a personality type that reflects who we want to be. Part Two: Analyze your job in terms of your interests Step iii: Look at your main tasks and responsibilities. You may want to take an official Holland Code Assessment. ask yourself. Using Holland's Codes is a straightforward process. and friends categorize me?" Show some of your friends and co-workers descriptions of the types and ask them to categorize you. For instance. costing different amounts – you can find them by typing "Holland Code Assessment" into Google. Part One: Identify your Work Personality Step i: Read through the brief descriptions given above and find the one you most identify with. work out at least one way of bringing the two sides together. Step v: For each of the job roles where your interests are not well matched. Try one: Does the assessment say what you thought it would? If they aren't. To shape your job. or in helping you shape your existing job so that you maximize your fulfillment. However. These are more Artistic responsibilities. use our complete process. entertainment. This can save you a huge amount of painstaking research! Step ii: To further explore your "true" work personality. which are directly opposite to your Conventional ways. explore any differences between your assessment of yourself and theirs. Are they aligned with your work personality? Step iv: List those responsibilities that are aligned in one column and those that are not in another. "How would my spouse. Use this to decide whether your job is a good fit for your interests or not.99) and a good one will show you the careers and professions that most suit your code once you've completed it. if you are a "Conventional" person working in an administrative position. To find your ideal career according to this approach. not who we really are.16 How to Use Holland Codes Career Model: There are two good ways of using this model – either in helping you choose a career that suits you.
You maintain the Administrative duties and get rid of the Artistic ones. Tip 3: Also bear in mind that as you develop in your career you'll need to extend your skills into new areas. Identify two or three of the most important problem areas. as you take responsibility for people and then move upwards within an organization. you can identify areas of dissatisfaction and help you plan how to address these. If you're thinking about your career.) Key Points Holland’s Career Codes provides a useful framework for exploring your personal interests and the careers most likely to suit you. Likewise. and set the goals that will lead you there. as well as other skills that normally go with other personality types (if you're going to be a CEO. Tip 2: Remember that this is a model – it's a useful way of looking at things. there's a lot of "Conventional" work that you just have to do. look at our Life Plan Workbook. Part Three: Set Goals to Bring Your Interests and Responsibilities in line Step vi: The best way of making sure that something gets done is to set a specific. By identifying your particular interests you can quickly uncover the parts of your job that give your satisfaction. Job Crafting Shaping your job to fit you better Have you ever noticed something like this going on at work? It's now about six months since the arrival of a new Program Office Administrator. Make sure that you interpret any conclusions with common sense.17 delegate the Artistic tasks and assume responsibility for making sure the tasks get done. time limited goal. . but it can't possibly capture all of the complexities of the ways that people behave at work. and the focus of the job has changed subtly. and do well. and the way it fits with the future shape of your life. Every occupation requires a particular set of characteristics. and set realistic goals to change things. This helps you think about what you want to achieve with your life. This helps you develop your career in the right direction – one that will be a source of long-term fulfillment. you need to develop the "Social" ability to work with other people. In particular.
By subtly redesigning your job like this. making a big contribution to the efficiency and organization of the team. Let's look at each of these steps in more detail. though. So. but what makes it a really powerful tool is that it allows you to increase the control you have over your own professional life. Practically any job can be crafted. The ways that that Rebecca and Stephen crafted their work as Program Office Administrators fell into this category. You shift the emphasis of the job towards things that you can do really well. meaning that their focus can be adjusted to fit the skills and preferences of the current job-holder. Decide what you want to change. Act to put positive change in place. improving both satisfaction and performance. using skills that you already have. 4. has a particular flair for graphic design. Check on progress.18 The previous post-holder. and you can start whenever you want. Job crafting may seem like a simple idea. Evaluate how the change will impact you and your work environment. or using your knowledge to change working methods. without necessarily consulting managers or having to wait for their approval. so that you can generate better results. however. How to start crafting your job today To "craft your job". The idea here is that many jobs are actually quite flexible. did a great job. (If you're not sure what your strengths are. adjust and continue. Her successor. it's about creating opportunities to play to your strengths. 3. what's going on? The answer is that both Rebecca and Stephen have been using the concept of job crafting. at least to some extent. they've both been really good performers.) . 2. use the Reflected Best Self™ exercise to explore them. In short. • Task content: This involves improving the way that things are done. He's now enhancing the different progress reports to make key information stand out more effectively. Rebecca. Stephen. Overall. Step 1: Decide what you want to change by crafting your job You can make changes in one or more of the following areas to craft the way you work. so that it's closer to your "ideal" job. follow these steps: 1. using her competence in finance to develop new procedures for checking the monthly financial reports for all of the projects in the program. and away from those where your performance is likely to be weaker. while "wowing" your employer at the same time. you can play to your strengths.
but the overall impact may well be negative. more effective workforce. What your organization gets from this is a better-trained.19 • Relationships: Here. you might look for ways to have more satisfying interactions with other people during the course of your work each day. or a boost to your own self-esteem. it won't help you to expand your skills or affect your output greatly. and the organization as a whole. go back to Step 1. So make sure you're headed for a mutually beneficial outcome. For example. If this isn't the case. Remember that effective job crafting usually depends on finding a win-win solution. or more interaction with people from other departments. In our example. a programmer working in the IT department of an airline could reframe his or her work from "writing code" to "helping people enjoy trouble-free travel". Here. So look for things you could change in the first two categories to get the most out of job crafting. or at least that your job crafting is compatible with your work environment. For example. • Note: Crafting job purpose doesn't involve any actual changes in the content of your work. and see if other job crafting changes might work better! . Stephen might volunteer to mentor new hires. You could volunteer to train new-hires on the system. you need to assess the potential impact of these possible changes on your wider work environment. and while this can certainly add to your enjoyment of your work. Step 2: Evaluate how crafting your job will impact you and your environment Next. or provide updates on system changes for your colleagues. What you get out this could be simple enjoyment because you enjoy teaching people things. if you dislike having meetings with your supervisor. you should take into account your clients. read our article on Creating Job Satisfaction. you may have significant experience in using your organization's internal accounting system. your colleagues. where she's less likely to find you! You might achieve your short-term goal of avoiding these meetings. For example. Purpose: You can also redefine your existing work to reflect what you see as being the real impact of what you do at work. Avoid any temptation to turn a job crafting exercise into a win-lose situation. you might be tempted to craft your job so that you spend more time in the test lab. your supervisor or manager. For more on this.
if you have any managerial responsibilities. Step 4: Check on your job crafting progress. you can let your changes become a habit. you decide what's going to make you feel better valued and more productive. Encouraging real personal development by improving skills. When you have a number of other people to supervise. and you accepted that when you were hired! Make absolutely sure that. managerial input or approval before you start. Step 3: Act to put positive job crafting change in place At this stage. Tip 1: You can always ask your manager's opinion about how you're crafting your job. But don't wait for. your employer wanted someone to carry out your duties. and you feel good about what's happening. lead to career enhancement opportunities. And of course. you take the initiative! Tip 2: Don't expect to be able to redefine your job completely. 2 and 3 above. in itself. If everything checks out. as mentioned in Step 2. even small changes in how you work can have significant effects on the people who depend on you. Job crafting gives you the chance to turn this situation around. What job crafting can do for you The benefits of job crafting can include: • • • Giving you greater enjoyment from what you do at work. the key is to get rid of any symptom of what psychologists call "learned helplessness". you need to take them into account when you consider any job crafting. you're fully meeting the objectives you've been set. and you decide to make the necessary changes. and make sure that it really is compatible with your wider work environment. In job crafting. within your recrafted job. check that it gives you what you want. The only condition is that your decisions must have positive outcomes for your organization. ensure that your boss and clients are happy with what's going on. nothing will come of it. or expect. Helping you approach your work with more energy and enthusiasm.20 Also. perfecting the skill of job crafting can. . By refocusing your job in this way. it's time to put your job crafting into practice. After all. adjust and continue Having gone through Steps 1. This is the phenomenon whereby people have become so accustomed to indifference to their contributions that they believe that no matter what they do.
This is a template that you can buy on-line to help you apply the ideas discussed here. This means that what we are doing now will be different in the future. and so find out what might also work for you. building skills and increasing your general ability to cope with your work. or in 10 or even 20 years time? And over this time. Key Points Job crafting is something that you decide to do. will your job even exist in its present form in five years. you make sure they become a habit.21 Tip 3: For pointers on how you might set about job crafting. The benefits you can get from crafting your job include boosting results. There are four basic steps: you decide what you want to change. you put the changes into practice. compare notes with other colleagues who are appreciated at work and who clearly enjoy their jobs. you may uncover some interesting ideas. What we do know for certain is that change is a constant in the workplace. increasing enjoyment. having checked they're having a positive effect. so that it suits you better. in order to change aspects of your current job. How can you predict and prepare for this workplace of the future? What should you be doing now to make sure you don't find yourself facing a dead end in your career? . what will happen to the company and industry you work for? We really don't know what the future holds. Start crafting today! The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) at the University of Michigan has a useful Job Crafting Exercise. By categorizing their experiences according to the list in Step 1. Future Proof Your Career Developing skills for your future as well as for today How will your job be different five years from now? Indeed. An important element of successful job crafting is that it's you who takes the initiative: you don't need to wait for your manager or supervisor to give you instructions. and then. you look for a win-win solution.
your kit may need to adapt as well. Leadership. make sure you use it to plan your skills development. Along with technical skills.22 This article gives you some strategies you can begin pursuing now. innovation. Future Proofing Kit Find an "Academy" company. Toyota and Mars. Get and remain tech-savvy. skills and abilities can help you secure a new job or may even open the door to working in a new industry. you'll get left behind and may have to catch up a huge amount before you can head off in a new direction in the future. Refer back to this list often and take inventory of what you should be doing either differently from.) When you work for this kind of company. as your own circumstances change. Otherwise. If that means learning the newest online tools like blogging and web conferencing. stress management and interpersonal skills are all fundamental requirements of the jobs of today and tomorrow. communication. . consider joining our Career Excellence Club to learn these skills. what you are doing now. If you're early in your career. And remember. If you're in a highly technical field of work. however. Force yourself to keep your technical skills current. even if new developments don't seem directly related to your current job. Monitor and track your progress. do it. Develop your competencies. it has high risk of obsolescence attached. skills and experience. specialization is no longer the route of choice. Beyond a certain stage in your career and in uncertain environments. Your specific technical skills may get out of date. To maximize your chances of success. you are enrolled in a continuous development program that goes well beyond the technical skills you need for your current role. Develop a five year learning plan to acquire the knowledge and education you need. They will help you keep your skills current and your opportunities open. Here are some ways to do this: • • • • Choose two competencies or skills to improve each year. A broad range of competencies. use the tips found in the Personal Goal Setting article to help you set development goals effectively. Much of the change we see has to do with new technology. be proactive and stay current even when your company does not. so that you remain in demand in the marketplace. Develop cross-functional skills. It can pay off for some. it is critically important to continue your professional development. And yes. We keep finding faster and leaner ways to do things. or in addition to. and if you have our Personal Development Plan Workbook. This forms a great foundation for a successful career. Pick and choose from among them to build your unique Future Proofing Kit. You need to develop the transferable skills that are universally sought by employers. That's why you see nurses with business skills and technology experts with financial experience. get a job at a company renowned in its industry for developing its people (traditional examples are GE.
You need to acquire the ability to work within the international marketplace by: • • • Learning about working with diverse cultures. Employers want to know what you will do for them. All of us need to boost our confidence and self esteem from time to time. Note your volunteer work. Scan the environment. your profession and the industry you are in. clients and stakeholders now and in the future can be from anywhere in the world. • • • • Collect business cards. projects and results." In many industries. Join professional networking associations. and can provide opportunities when your current position looks uncertain. it is much easier to recall your most relevant achievements and skills. Learning another language. They can bring you along with them as they weather changes. These people will be invaluable as the landscape of work changes. Having a list of objective strengths and accomplishments can do a lot to improve your motivation and belief in your abilities. the accolades you have been given and the noteworthy results you've been responsible for. • • • • • Track your duties. File your performance reviews and the written letters and emails you receive that note your performance. technologies and strategies that will help you move your career in the direction you want. Asking for assignments that require international exposure. Keep a list of professional development activities you've participated in. the more confidence you will have when working in the global marketplace. You need to be proactive and take continuous inventory of what you do really well. List the training you've completed. Participate in a wide range of activities and build relationships beyond your current career or industry. you have the added bonus of learning new skills. The time to start thinking about your accomplishments and skills is not when you are looking for a new job. Be aware of changes and trends in the economy. however stay ahead of the crowd . When you add a mentor or two to your network. The more experience you get. Create and maintain a success journal. Build and maintain a professional network. Your co-workers. Keep track of former bosses and colleagues. geographical barriers to business are getting less and less relevant. When you have a ready list of things you have done.23 "Think global. Use this success journal to track your strengths and successes and also to affirm your wonderful qualities as well. Make sure that you develop good relationships with people both within and outside your organization. No one can accurately predict the future. This will make you much more attractive to employers in the future.
failure to achieve your potential. However if you're in a slow growth industry or are one in decline. Build your flexibility and maintain your enthusiasm despite what is happening around you. For many. and development may be blocked. listen to the Expert Interview with Cal Crow. you can take control of your future career . you will eventually have to leave. Being an expert in a dying field may provide a niche strategy into the medium term.or career-change. It is better to prepare now. monitor your progress and identify what is holding you back. If you think your company or industry is in trouble. See our article on Career Planning to find out how to do this. To learn more about resiliency.and for employers . avoid industries and companies that are on a downward slide. however. however hard you work. You need to become good at both to secure your future career. This is where you need to review your options and take action to unblock your career. Keep a clear career path open.if you're good at what you do. Back your hunches and analysis with action.that have long-term sustainability. Develop resilience. You may be fortunate enough to be in an organization where there's a clear and attractive career path ahead of you. this will not be the case. and choosing to work in industries . • • • • Keep track of business trends by reading a good newspaper and the industry press. opportunities will most-likely appear with alarming regularity. then this is a problem: There may be no onward path.24 by keeping yourself informed. • • • Evaluate and affirm your strengths on a regular basis. you will probably encounter setbacks no matter how much you prepare and plan. Analyze the attractiveness of your company using Porter's Five Forces and USP Analysis. This will lead to frustration. it's best to get out while the going's good! Overall. Develop realistic and achievable goals. People who will be successful are those with the ability to bounce back and consider such setbacks as learning experiences. And they all have in common the elements of risk management and career planning. This may not be a problem if you're in a fast growth industry . you can ensure the skills you bring to the table are. All of these techniques can be very useful as you begin to plan and prepare for your future. Key Points: While your job description may not be relevant in the future. boredom and. Complete a PEST analysis for your industry and others you are interested in. With some forethought and planning. Because the future is uncertain. even if it means a job. in the long term.
but volunteering isn't just about doing charity work: it's also a great way to acquire new skills that would be hard to learn elsewhere. and you'd like to apply for the job as soon as the vacancy is advertised. you've got some useful skills. but you've recently become interested in a completely different line of work. Overcoming a Lack of Qualifications Gaining the skills you need Imagine this scenario: You're doing a great job in your current role. it's not always realistic or practical to obtain those qualifications. When you realize that change is constant and you are constantly planning so you stay ahead of the game.25 today. for many people. The key is not so much in how skilled you are at predicting what will happen. Volunteer This may come as a surprise. and you're so inspired by the new role that you know you would quickly gain the necessary knowledge. you can show initiative. What about joining an employee relations committee? Or . But you currently have no management experience. In this article. what are some alternative ways of learning the skills you need. So you ask yourself: Do you really have the time or desire to quit your current job to pursue that advanced degree you need? Can you afford to spend the money or vacation time on executivelevel coaching courses? While gaining formal qualifications is the best way of advancing your career.even if they are not directly related to your current job. But you fear you may not get the opportunity. You've always wanted to work in management. Let's say you've heard a rumor that a management position at your company will open up in the next few months. What can you do? Well. This is something you feel passionate about. it is in how attuned you are to the early indications of change. and keep an eye out for opportunities that arise in your organization . So. Sure. we offer strategies for gaining the skills necessary to help you secure the job of your dreams. The only problem is that this new type of work requires qualifications or experience that you currently don't have. without spending too much time and money? The good news is that there are several ways to overcome your lack of qualifications. you will find yourself in a great position to recognize and capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves. and it could advance your career to exciting new levels.they may be advertised on a bulletin board or company intranet .
You'll then be in an ideal position if there's a job opening for a writer. The company might offer training seminars. then consider volunteering for community organizations. and ask your new journalist colleagues for feedback. But it's also an opportunity to be involved with managing a group of people. Applying 'downward' may not seem appealing in the short term. And. But if you take a job as a receptionist at a media organization. budgeting. Why would you apply for a position further down the ladder from the one you want? Here's the reason: If you have no qualifications or experience for a specific role. . and to build up your portfolio.such as school boards and youth work programs look for people to do accounting. with fewer responsibilities and fewer requirements.26 how about a planning committee that's organizing a major company event? Why not volunteer to run it? Taking on new duties will involve more work (and. marketing. you won't get paid for it). As well as learning new skills. Eventually. Many nonprofits . but you have no experience writing feature stories or working in a newspaper environment. However. volunteering for extra jobs or projects can also help you prove to your boss that you can handle increased responsibilities. fundraising. Although you may not see immediate results. or reimburse you for outside classes. in the long term. You're a good writer. Well. If you can't identify opportunities within your company. don't dismiss the long-term value of the knowledge you'll gain. When it's time to apply for that management position. if you really want to make a career change. can at least lead you one step closer to the job you really want. and the good impression you'll make. These skills are highly valued in the business world. writing. you might be able to learn the skills you need for your ideal job during your regular work day. and more. Failing to consider a lower-level position might mean you would miss out on these opportunities. You can even offer to help out with some of the smaller articles. You can write a few articles in your spare time. then applying for a related position. depending on the new company or position. project management. you'll soon gain detailed knowledge of how a newspaper works. it may be worth exploring this option if it helps you reach your ultimate goal. Imagine that you'd like to start a career as a journalist. you'll be able to show that you have experience successfully running a team. you could make the transition to full-time journalist. The important thing is to see your name in print. Start at a Lower Level This may not seem to make sense at first. chances are pretty high that you won't get a writing position without a portfolio. and you can add them to your résumé when you apply for a promotion or new job. as a volunteer.
personnel development.something you would have to consider on a practical level before making such a commitment. and leadership are just a few subjects you could study in a distancelearning program. Take Advantage of Distance Learning Distance learning (Internet-based classes) allows you to gain additional qualifications while working full time. Imagine that you decide to take an executive workshop on relationship building. Skills like project management. You could attend lectures on topics such as Barriers to Relationship Building. Instead of a traditional management class. you can become certified or earn a degree in almost any area. And. This is an admirable demonstration of your commitment to excel in your career. in the evenings. Asking Questions and Telling Stories. The Cost of Building and Maintaining Relationships.and at a much lower cost . which may have only one lecture on building relationships. These are usually intense training sessions that last anywhere from one day to a week or more. marketing. business management.27 However. Executive workshops often use several different approaches to teach upper-level managers important new skills that will help them advance their careers. Perhaps the biggest benefit to distance learning is that. do bear in mind that certain occupations require specific qualifications and experience. For example. workshops might offer several different lectures.plus group exercises and one-to-one coaching. you attend class at the time and place of your choice . This is because it's often more efficient than going to classes on campus. each exploring a different area of relationship building. and so on. Executive-level workshops. Several years of rigorous medical training is essential here . because you work on your own (instead of at the pace of an entire class). then just helping out on a hospital ward will not be enough to secure the job of your dreams. or on weekends. For example. accounting and finance.on your lunch hour. If you attend a longer workshop (lasting a week. Executive-level workshops can be expensive. if you want to become a medical doctor. often use lectures from several different experts . but they're terrific ways to learn some specific skills to add to your résumé. you can often complete a qualification in less time . . With distance learning. so you'll have a better chance at a career in upper management. because it's so common now (compared to even a few years ago). a traditional campus class is usually taught by one professor. however. you may have to use your vacation time. for example). You don't have to waste time driving to and from campus. Take Executive-level Workshops Executive-level courses can help you gain qualifications in a specific area.than a traditional school.
Key Points Although it can be disappointing to realize that you lack the qualifications for the job you want. you don't necessarily have to give up your dream. 'Man's Search for Meaning' . Where possible. Apply This to Your Life 1. then take proactive steps to investigate other ways of learning the skills you need. and give you a chance to examine whether you really want the new job enough to work hard for it.28 but make sure you still have enough remaining days off to take a real vacation during the year. to choose one's way. find out whether courses are available for study by distance learning. This can often be as enlightening as the knowledge you acquire along the way. Managing Your Emotions at Work Controlling Your Feelings. 4. work towards obtaining the formal qualifications you need to get ahead. This will strengthen your qualifications. If you need professional qualifications to secure your ideal job. You may not only impress your company with your ambition and enthusiasm... It's worth checking with your company when you register for a workshop. It might be willing to reimburse part of the expense. 2. or invest the time in distance-learning classes. Consider accepting a lower-level position to gain experience in a new field. If you can gain those new skills within your organization. Is your dream job a logical next step from where you are now? Assess whether you need to acquire new skills and/or qualifications to help you make that leap. If you're still not sure. If that's not practical. 3. but prove to them that you really do care about the job. Consider where your next career move will be. It's never a good idea to wear yourself out in the race to get ahead. especially if you can prove that the skills you'll learn will be useful for future projects or tasks. Before They Control You Everything can be taken from a man but the last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. – Viktor Frankl. our article on Finding Career Direction could help. volunteer for projects that will add those 'must-have' attributes to your résumé.
Disappointment/unhappiness. or to go hide in a corner and feel sorry for yourself for a while. the most common negative emotions experienced in the workplace are as follows: • • • • • Frustration/irritation. After all.. as well as your productivity. your reaction to stressful situations like these might be to start shouting. a boss who is too . Dislike. these types of behavior could seriously harm your professional reputation. when your favorite project is cancelled after weeks of hard work. or unable to move forward in some way. no matter what the situation is. But at work. Bond University professor of management Cynthia Fisher conducted a study called 'Emotions at Work: What Do People Feel. they may choose to keep those who can handle their emotions. After all. and department changes. In your personal life. Anger/aggravation. excitement. Below are different strategies you can use to help you deal with each of these negative emotions. As long as you share positive emotions constructively and professionally.. you're always free to choose how you react to it. As the above quote shows. and work well under pressure. but it's even more important for you to do so. You know. Why are we focusing only on negative emotions? Well. or your boss assigns you more work when you're already overloaded. So. It could be caused by a colleague blocking your favorite project. if management is forced into making more layoffs. and How Should We Measure It?' According to Fisher's research. Worry/nervousness. feelings of joy. we look at the most common negative emotions experienced in the workplace – and how you can manage them productively. Frustration/Irritation Frustration usually occurs when you feel stuck or trapped. or optimism usually don't affect others in a negative way. staff layoffs. compassion. Stressful situations are all too common in a workplace that's facing budget cuts. and 'choosing' your reactions to bad situations? In this article. when your best friend (and co-worker) is laid off suddenly. how can you become better at handling your emotions. most people don't need strategies for managing their positive emotions. when a customer snaps at you unfairly.29 We've all been in one of 'those' situations before. It may become harder and harder to manage your emotions under these circumstances. they're great to have in the workplace! Common Negative Emotions at Work In 1997.
and you sit there and worry. Remember the last time you felt frustrated – The last time you were frustrated about something. and this can impact not only your mental health. For instance. Instead. which means they're not doing anything for you right now. Try deep-breathing exercises – This helps slow your breathing and your heart rate. And if it's a thing that's bothering you – well. right? Your feelings of frustration or irritation probably didn't do much to solve the problem then. Try these tips to deal with worrying: • Don't surround yourself with worry and anxiety – For example. if you allow it. the situation probably worked out just fine after a while. such as anger. or simply being on hold on the phone for a long time. it's certainly not personal! Don't get mad. and be specific. that probably won't help you keep your job. if coworkers gather in the break room to gossip and talk about job cuts. and your willingness to take risks at work. When it's people who are causing your frustration. and nothing else. because they can easily lead to more negative emotions. it's no wonder that many people worry about their jobs. and that isn't good for anyone. if your boss is late for your meeting. Whatever the reason. Find something positive about the situation – Thinking about a positive aspect of your situation often makes you look at things in a different way. read Physical Relaxation Techniques.30 disorganized to get to your meeting on time. • • . Breathe in slowly for five seconds. then you have more time to prepare. Focus on your breathing. you could use this time to relax a little. Do this at least five times. just move on. But this worry can easily get out of control. it's important to deal with feelings of frustration quickly. they're probably not doing it deliberately to annoy you. Then think of one positive thing about your current situation. Here are some suggestions for dealing with frustration: • Stop and evaluate – One of the best things you can do is mentally stop yourself. For more on this. Write it down. then breathe out slowly for five seconds. and look at the situation. Or. • • Worry/Nervousness With all the fear and anxiety that comes with increasing numbers of layoffs. then don't go there and worry with everyone else. This small change in your thinking can improve your mood. Focus on how to improve the situation – If you fear being laid off. but also your productivity. Worrying tends to lead to more worrying. Ask yourself why you feel frustrated.
31 why not brainstorm ways to bring in more business. If you start to get angry. Also. stop what you're doing – Close your eyes. don't let your worries get in the way of being appropriately assertive. you can choose how you react in a situation. Here are some ideas for working with people you dislike: . write them down in a notebook or 'worry log.' and then schedule a time to deal with them. Anger/Aggravation Out-of-control anger is perhaps the most destructive emotion that people experience in the workplace. Picture yourself when you're angry – If you imagine how you look and behave while you're angry. take our self-test How Good Is Your Anger Management? Also. if you're about to shout at your co-worker. Read our article on Building Self-Confidence to make sure this doesn't happen. then learning to control it is one of the best things you can do if you want to keep your job. This interrupts your angry thoughts. Dislike We've probably all had to work with someone we don't like. Is your face red? Are you waving your arms around? Would you want to work with someone like that? Probably not. When it comes to the time you've scheduled. conduct a proper risk analysis around these things. But it's important to be professional. Remember. and it helps put you back on a more positive path. it gives you some perspective on the situation. imagine how you would look. It's also the emotion that most of us don't handle very well. • • To find out more about managing your anger at work. and practice the deep-breathing exercise we described earlier. and take whatever actions are necessary to mitigate any risks. Stopping your anger early is key. read Dealing with Unfair Criticism and Anger Management. For instance. When you're worried and nervous about something. Try these suggestions to control your anger: • Watch for early signs of anger – Only you know the danger signs when anger is building. If you have trouble managing your temper at work. knowing that you'll deal with them. Before that time. you can forget about these worries. Just because your first instinct is to become angry doesn't mean it's the correct response. it can dent your self-confidence. and show how valuable you are to the company? • Write down your worries in a worry log – If you find that worries are churning around inside your mind. no matter what. so learn to recognize them when they begin.
and no one wants to be around a person who adds negativity to a group. please see Dealing with Difficult People and Egos at Work. Our Back On Track article provides practical steps for recovering from a major career setback. Be assertive – If the other person is rude and unprofessional. life would be a straight road instead of one with hills and valleys. • To learn more about handling dislike in the workplace. Adjust your goal – If you're disappointed that you didn't reach a goal. forcing a smile – or even a grimace – onto your face can often make you feel happy (this is one of the strange ways in which we humans are 'wired. Remember. If you've just suffered a major disappointment. Here are some proactive steps you can take to cope with disappointment and unhappiness: • Look at your mindset – Take a moment to realize that things won't always go your way. but make a small change – for example. . that doesn't mean the goal is no longer reachable. as you would treat anyone else. then firmly explain that you refuse to be treated that way. Remember. • • Record your thoughts – Write down exactly what is making you unhappy. these are the most likely to impact your productivity. Of all the emotions you might feel at work. Is it a co-worker? Is it your job? Do you have too much to do? Once you identify the problem. then it's time to set aside your pride and ego. you might be afraid to take another risk. and calmly leave the situation. and learning how to cope with these feelings is now more important than ever. Treat the person with courtesy and respect. Keep the goal. Just because this person behaves in an unprofessional manner. Disappointment/Unhappiness Dealing with disappointment or unhappiness at work can be difficult. ups and downs. delay the deadline.') Try it – you may be surprised! • Key Points We all have to deal with negative emotions at work sometimes. and all of that may hold you back from achieving. you always have the power to change your situation. set the example.32 • Be respectful – If you have to work with someone you don't get along with. If they did. After all. right? And it's the hills and valleys that often make life so interesting. Smile! – Strange as it may sound. your energy will probably be low. start brainstorming ways to solve it or work around it. negative emotions can spread. that doesn't mean you should as well.
your value to the company is your efficiency. If you're busy working away. The longer you wait. Discover ways to be more involved in the solutions . Ask yourself these questions: • • • • What are the strategic goals of the organization? How does your department's work fit into the overall strategy? How is your boss's performance measured? What critical functions do other people in your team currently perform? .have been promoted? The people who have been promoted may know one critical thing that you don't. you have to really understand the drivers of organizational success. and stretching yourself beyond your current role. Think about it. can lead to a new job with more responsibility. It doesn't necessarily mean doing more things . Why is it. Organizations move forward by solving problems. When those emotions begin to appear.in your pursuit of a promotion. immediately start your strategy to interrupt the cycle. You may even do your job exceptionally well. you still have to perform well and meet your current job requirements.it means doing more of the RIGHT things. If I promote you. and that you're ready to take on new ones. then.33 Know what causes your negative emotions.seemingly lessdeserving people . the harder it will be to pull yourself away from negative thinking. that you've been in the same position for three years while others . producing more widgets per hour than anyone has ever produced. Promotion is about pushing the limits of your current position. It's not necessarily even about being the best "widget" maker you can be. Promotion isn't just about doing what you're paid to do. The key is identifying ways to add more value to your contribution. before you head out to stop being effective at anything. Understand Your Organization To prepare for a promotion. and which types of feelings you face most often. Get Ready for Promotion Showing What You Can Do You do your job faithfully every day. But going beyond what's expected. my production output may suddenly fall! Focusing on simply what's expected of you may be a great strategy to keep the job you have. Now. remember . It's about showing that you have outgrown your current responsibilities.and that may move you forward too. why should I promote you? Clearly.
to similar positions in different departments . review bottom-line results. Become aware of the economic and business pressures facing your organization. offer to cover a co-worker's responsibilities while he or she is on vacation. Here are some ways to prove your capabilities: • • • • • • Complete your work thoroughly and with as little supervision as possible. This involves working well as part of a team. Also. This frees up your time and allows you to practice supervising others' work.34 You may even want to make lateral moves . This can help you practice your leadership skills and demonstrate your ability to take on new responsibilities. You'll expand your range of experience. look for opportunities to lead projects. Increase Your Responsibility Typically. and you'll make your boss's job easier . promotion to a more senior level may become a realistic goal. if you're a communications manager and feel that there's no place else to go with your job.to increase your overall appreciation for what the company does. Use good judgment when carrying out your responsibilities. managers are given responsibility for something. to learn and practice other skills. Think about cost versus benefit. To gain access to them. These higher-level tasks are what you want to get involved in. you first have to prove that you're capable of handling the increased responsibility.it's a win-win! . and stay current in your field. When you have questions for your boss. and make a plan to acquire those skills. come prepared with solutions as well. perhaps by reading the industry press. and know how your role impacts the company as a whole. For example. Find opportunities to continue your learning and education. you may also see and be considered for more promotion opportunities. find out about the skills you'll need in the new role. They delegate in order to have more time to work on higher-level tasks. Try the following: • • • Volunteer to take on new projects and other opportunities. Determine what you need to learn to add more value. gain experience in other areas of the company. When you have the right mix of experience and skill. Identify opportunities to delegate your own work. and they then delegate various pieces to their staffs. Then. Expand your skill set. while also demonstrating individual competence. and make sure you acquire these. Get up-to-date. If your exposure is broader. Offer to take on tasks that you know your boss dislikes or is weak in. For example.
you'll probably end up disappointed. Having someone to talk to. Look for a mentor within the organization.others in your company who may want the same position you want . Rather than accept things as they are.and come up with innovative ways to do those things better. See Finding a Mentor for practical steps and strategies. Be prepared for many of your ideas to not be accepted. and set goals to learn the skills you need for success. Look for things that aren't being done at all. faster. Set your goal. The more you learn from other people's experiences. think how you can improve them . How can you do something cheaper. This demonstrates both your imagination and willingness to take risks. Take action with these steps: • • • • • • Identify your career goals within the organization. .and work hard to distinguish yourself and make yourself stand out. the better. and who might champion your ideas. even if you aren't sure of the response. or with less waste? Consider the following: • • • • Demonstrate critical thinking when you report to your boss. and getting noticed for your ability to inspire and motivate. find ways to work around them. Set Promotion Goals Ultimately. Put forward your ideas. Understand the big picture. That's one of the defining characteristics of leaders.35 Get Innovative To prepare for a promotion. Talk to people who hold the kinds of positions and levels of authority that you want. Find out what they did to get where they are. If you prove that you're interested in improving organizational performance and that you can come up with some original ideas.it's often adding something of value as well. is a great benefit. If you rely on someone else to make it happen. Evaluate your strengths. and follow it through! See Personal Goal Setting for practical tips. Innovation isn't always improving things that already exist . always think about how to do things better. A positive attitude can go a long way toward reaching your goals. When you run into obstacles. you're the one who needs to work proactively to make a promotion happen. this can be a great way to set the stage for promotion. Learn more about innovative thinking in Practical Innovation. Take note of who your internal competition might be . and incorporate it into your decisions and solutions.
Work with your boss to set performance objectives so that you can achieve the necessary skills and experience. and then proactively work to achieve it. Key Points Earning a promotion is partly within your control. expand your skill set. Let as many people as appropriate know what type of role interests you. That won't guarantee a promotion.36 Communicate Your Desire Doing all of the above will likely be met with great appreciation. use this as an opportunity to develop the skills you need. By being proactive. are not guarantees of advancement. you can create the path to the position that you want. Get the Recognition You Deserve . Let people know what you want. If you aren't ready yet. find out what experience and skills are needed to get that job. Understand what drives your company's success. As you execute your promotion plan. Seek advice on how to prepare for that role. You have to be your own best champion: Preparing for a promotion is no time to be quiet and shy. and even being the best at what you do. Network with people in the company. Be smart about the type of value opportunities that you create. Here are some steps you can take to make your wishes known: • • • • • Identify a role or position toward which you want to work. Simply doing what's expected of you. To prepare for promotion. increase your value to the organization. Using your knowledge of the organization. let others who have influence over the decision know what you're doing. You need many people to know what you're capable of and what you want. and communicate your promotion goals to others. though. Ask for the promotion when it becomes available. take on more of the right responsibilities.
Unfortunately. certificates. she forgets to show any gratitude to her stars. people often just want simple praise. So. you finish even your worst projects successfully and ahead of schedule. Boasting of your own accomplishments can feel awkward. or a cold. . list the value that accomplishment has brought to the company. Step One: Decide What You Want Companies often thank staff with awards. you wish. Then. your boss is busy dealing with a "problem" member of the team.and to top it all off. However. Believe it or not. what exactly are you looking for? It's important to really define this. or if you can handle that huge-but-fascinating project? Things don't have to be like that. hard check doesn't always communicate that. it would seem odd. Why? Firstly. or bonuses. there is a way to do this. at least once in a while. Beside each one. never miss deadlines. We want to know that our work is meaningful and that we've made a difference. and never show up late . and leaving out that person could speak poorly of your character. Make a list of the accomplishments you'd like to discuss. Be sure to make yourself look good. so decide what type you want. But look at it this way: If your boss doesn't notice your hard work.37 Learning how to get praise Imagine this: You stay late at work. You'd think that by doing all of this. consistently win accounts that your co-workers only dream of. and as a result. then what happens when you ask for a raise? How will he or she know you're ready for that promotion. because everyone wants something different. you would. There are many types of recognition. That's why you sometimes have to take matters into your own hands. That includes you. get thanks and recognition from management? Well. you might forget something important that you've done. Do you want a simple "thank you"? An award ceremony in your honor? A raise? Step Two: Define Why You Deserve Praise Don't walk into your boss's office with no advance preparation to say what a great job you've been doing. if you're a bit nervous. You might forget the help a co-worker gave you. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Working hard and getting ignored by your boss can be rough. An "Employee of the Month" certificate. but also share credit where credit is due. and you don't point it out to him or her. We'll show you how to get the recognition you deserve without looking like you're seeking attention.
then you may have to do something bold to get management's attention. Before you get upset. however. or when you're finally able to please your company's worst customer. but this kind of trust is also a compliment. but don't speak up if you don't really mean it. send your boss an email every time you win a new account. then think of ways to let your boss know what you're doing without being so obvious or bold. If this feels a little too much like bragging. and your boss only quickly glanced at it before passing it on to be copied. a "thank you" for a job well done is nice. As you talk. consider that her actions may really say that she trusts you to do top-notch work. let's say you spent hours writing the annual message to shareholders. For example. perhaps all the problem behaviors get noticed. Keep it genuine and honest. Keep the focus off yourself. not-too-obvious way. Tell your boss honestly how members of the team need some recognition. In your work environment. • . You know your boss and your business environment. These little "progress reports" keep your actions in the open in a delicate. so think of ways to let your boss know how hard you've been working. emphasize how you had help and how your co-workers should be rewarded for their hard work as well. and she doesn't have read every line to know you've done a great job. then do it carefully and tactfully . and you don't even realize it. and you may look bad.he or she may be praising you. A Few Tips • Look closely at your boss's actions . and help your boss understand how everyone would be more motivated if they just got a little praise now and then. For example. By bringing their hard work and accomplishments to your boss's attention. If you appear insincere. If you tell your boss directly. she may also notice the great job that you've been doing.in a private area. If so. Yes. then say it. You can also praise others in front of your boss. then people may notice.38 Step Three: Praise Yourself This is where you've got to get creative. If you have something good to say. You know that list of accomplishments you just created? Read that over a few times before your meeting. and all the really great ones seem to be ignored.
your boss has to know what you've already done. If so. and they're not working for the government. Apply This to Your Life: Ready to put this into action? Here are some easy ways to use this tool in your life right now: • • • Begin by recognizing the accomplishments of others. This can show your boss that you're leading by example. If you notice co-workers doing something great. having grown up at a time where company loyalty and hard work provided a steady career and a comfortable . Even if you keep the focus off yourself. and send copies to your boss.in their lives. it may get him or her to notice what you've been doing as well. and praising your teammates when he or she is around to hear it. keep your eyes open for activities and co-workers that deserve praise. Think of subtle ways to get your boss's attention by talking privately." send that person an email and copy it to your boss. and consider copying that email to his or her boss. he or she might give that promotion or special project to someone else without knowing any better. sending emails about small accomplishments. send them emails praising their efforts.39 Key Points Although not everyone is comfortable talking about their accomplishments. Send him or her an email when she's made a difference in your day. When you recognize the efforts of your team. If your boss doesn't see the great work you've been doing. Whenever someone does something that's earned a heartfelt "thanks. If you're a team leader. Don't forget that your boss might need some praise and recognition too. you should steadily earn your own praise as well Living with a Lack of Job Security Coping with uncertainty Some of the people you know may have only had a few jobs .or even one job . It's up to you to prove that you can handle the added responsibility . they're likely to be older than 50.and to do that. These are just a few ways you can "raise the bar" in your workplace to get other people thinking about praise and recognition. you might harm yourself if you don't speak up.
another one opens. and leadership)." What else can you do . because you'll know you've done all you can. As a result of globalization. Here. keeping a positive attitude can make all the difference! If you're stressed about your career.and how can you prove that you could learn a new line of work? Look at your track record of being adaptable. develop your nontechnical skills as well. team management. and the chance to do something new. For more information. learn how to handle the psychological pressure and stress. They might have spent 20 or 30 years with the same company. and your people skills. If your lack of job security is due to a drop in demand for your technical skills. and use this site to build solid career skills. Next. People entering the workforce within the past few years may have more than 10 different jobs before they retire. however. but you can control how you look at it. and keeping stress away. We'll show you what you can do now to deal with the feeling of a lack of job security. try some of these tips: • Remember the saying "Whenever one door closes. willingness to adapt to change. outsourcing. and learning how to cope is essential to being happy. In today's job market. The lack of job security that goes with this is something that almost everyone must face at one time or another. be prepared. and financial situation are much different from those of your colleagues. then you have a lot to offer other potential employers if you get laid off. It's important to realize that not everyone reacts the same way to job insecurity. It's impossible to know what the future will bring. so don't expect yourself to feel or react like they do: they'll manage stress their own way. read our Book Insight on "Career Intelligence" by Barbara Moses. and never having a reason to fear layoffs. So. These days. contracting. never making the break to search for something better. so preparing in advance can help reduce your worries. "job security" can seem like a thing of the past. • • . the world is much different. This is why it's so important to keep your skills relevant and up-to-date. the technical skills you need can change quickly. If you're a good worker with marketable skills.the "fear" of losing your job .can be more harmful to your health than actually losing it. your organizational skills (time management.40 pension. recession and even natural disaster. think "outside the box. Your home life." Living with uncertainty can be uncomfortable. Some studies suggest that living with job insecurity . downsizing. So. It can be an adventure. Coping with Stress Living with constant insecurity can be stressful. how do you deal with this uncertainty? First.
You'll have to do more than "just the minimum" if you want to keep your job. Start learning about other departments. For more on how to brag about yourself (without being viewed as arrogant or overconfident). Remember. Help another team member who's falling behind. Be PROactive instead of REactive.41 • Stress can result from a feeling that you don't have control over your situation. but don't let these fears dominate the group. and it's within your power to change it. So. you keep him or her informed of your value. Stay Current Keeping your skills current is essential if you want to offer value to your company. • Prove Your Worth If you were your boss. Do things to show your boss that you love your job and you'll do what it takes to help the company succeed. Take outside classes and read trade publications. Be willing to stay late to finish a project. so that you know what's going on in your field. This can create negativity and hurt morale. Skills like effective time management. leadership techniques. If you're part of a team (or if you're leading a team). if you don't tell her. Look for lateral transfers within your company.no matter what job you're doing. and office organization can help you anywhere . Make sure you're up to date on your industry's certifications and trends. to a different department or even a different branch. This kind of commitment can help to set you apart from the crowd. think about taking classes that would benefit your role in any company. . Also. But think of it this way: your boss may not know how great you are. By talking about your accomplishments. make sure you give value to your company. If you're afraid that you might get "downsized. It's your life. perhaps your skills would allow you to do something completely different within the organization. and you were forced to eliminate one position. have an open discussion. but focus on what you can all do to move forward and cope. you ALWAYS have control. allow everyone to voice their fears. read Getting the Recognition You Deserve. who would you lay off: the person who leaves at 5:01 pm each day and complains all the time. Communicating and expressing frustrations are important. "Brag" About Yourself Many people resist talking about their accomplishments because they don't want to boast. or the person who's willing to take on extra work and always has something positive to say? If you face uncertainty in your field. or what you're capable of doing." then take control and act.
Preparing yourself for change is a great way to feel better about the situation. your life is what you make of it! .or losing . This can help you turn a bad situation into a chance to reevaluate your career. Focus on the positive. so you don't have to worry about paying your bills if you do lose your job. if you are laid off. you might forget an important accomplishment that could mean winning . This alone can convince people to accept the first job offer they receive. Take control by ensuring that your company knows how great you are. You won't have to rush to make changes (and risk making mistakes). And save some money. It can also give you the resources you need to look further afield. and you can be sure to present yourself in the very best light. Look at this change as an adventure and as the chance to try something new. living with job insecurity is a reality for many. Remember. exciting path. When your résumé is current. not just those who are actively looking for work (or afraid they might be soon).42 Keep Your Résumé Up to Date This is smart for everyone to do. If you wait until the last minute. you can be ready at a moment's notice to apply for a new position even one within your own company. remember that the world is full of opportunities. and invest time in keeping your skills up to date.this can help you take the time you need to find the best opportunity. If you do get laid off. Changing your mindset can go a long way toward reducing your stress. even if it's not the right match. and put yourself onto a new. if work dries up in your area.the job. Save at least three to six months of living expenses . Key Points In today's business world. not on doubt and uncertainty. Save Your Money Few things are more stressful than wondering how you'll pay your bills if you suddenly lose your job. But it doesn't have to be stressful and negative.
Denial. it finally happened. These are: 1. Acceptance. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five different stages of grief that people go through when mourning the death of a loved one. The Five Stages of Loss In a famous piece of research. but then skip directly to acceptance. Sure. and think about what you can do to cope with each one. • Stage One: Denial . Given the intensity of the stress you're likely to be experiencing right now. or spend a long time in one stage and move quickly through the next one. or whether you experience a certain stage at all. losing a job may not be quite as upsetting as this. it helps to know what to expect in the weeks and months ahead. the more you know. You might skip a stage. the better equipped you'll be to handle the ups and downs that you're likely to face. After all. 2. or in the same time frame. A younger worker with no mortgage payments and no children may experience denial and self-criticism. and it can help to think in terms of Kübler-Ross's stages. simply because more stress is involved. however it can be a profoundly unhappy and stressful experience. Let's look at the stages in more detail. your age and life situation might partly determine how long you spend in each stage. Also. Not everyone experiences each stage the same way. 3. Depression 5. Workers who have more responsibilities might take longer to move to the acceptance stage. All of the headlines and statistics about the current economic crisis have become personal: you've been laid off.43 Life after Job Loss Coping with the emotional turmoil So. Anger. Bargaining 4.
especially for the people around you. then you're in Stage One. Don't pretend that you're just on an unexpected vacation or – worse – put your business suit on and catch the train as usual in the morning. If your anger causes you to treat others badly. and make you feel worse. you have to open your mind to the fact that that bad. To cope. try to express your emotions in a healthy way. or seek counseling. • Stage Two: Anger Once you're past the initial shock of losing your job. surely you deserve better than this? You might become angry at family and friends as well. your boss. This doesn't mean that you should start kicking and screaming. and even unjust or wrong things do happen. This is only prolonging the process of getting over what has happened. if you've worked hard and "given your all". This may give you the outlet you need to move past your feelings of anger. but spend your day in a library or coffee shop with a newspaper. and that you have to live with them. • Stage Three: Bargaining After your anger has burned itself out. this is likely to be more practical. To cope with denial. This can be one of the most difficult stages. your company. .44 If you're thinking things like "I can't believe I've lost my job" or you think that this is all a silly administrative mistake that can be fixed. this reflected a form of subconscious bargaining with a higher power: "I just want to live to see my daughter married…" In the case of job loss. you might start bargaining with yourself or your organization in the hope that your job loss is somehow reversible. In Kübler-Ross's original model. or the economy in general. use anger management techniques. After all. or even a counselor. Hurting the people you love will push them away. you might begin to feel very angry – angry at yourself. Talk with family and friends.
Picture it like trying to board a ship that's setting sail. and it could give you a sense of control in your life. you might slip into a state of depression." But. you might go back to your boss and offer to work for less money. You just have to be willing to find it! Start doing something productive. seek the advice of an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. be aware of what you're doing. Warning: If you're experiencing significant or persistent unhappiness at this or any other stage. You can call it fate or destiny. You might offer to work part-time. This is also a great time to volunteer for an organization that you care about. Put your energy into moving forward. "Whenever one door closes. learn from the experience." Once you realize that your anger and bargaining tactics aren't working to get your job back. or reduced benefits. Straddling them both will get you nothing but a miserable drop into the ocean. • Stage Four: Depression As the old cliché says. or train any new hires that come through the door. if it was your fault. You're grieving for your lost job. . Or. your job right now is to find another job. So what can you do to cope? Accept that losing your job wasn't your fault. Helping others can be very healing. another one opens somewhere. To cope with this stage. you've got one foot on the ship and one foot on the dock. and that's an important step because it shows your finally coming to terms with what happened. Depression is the beginning stage of acceptance. Remember. but consider that something better might be out there waiting for you. "It's the hallway in between those doors that's torture. but is something that can be painful and lingering if left untreated. Depression is something that can be dealt with quickly and effectively if detected. Bargaining is almost always futile. forgive yourself.45 For instance. as someone else also said. and move on.
and you're stronger because of it.46 • Stage Five: Acceptance You've finally realized the truth: the layoff wasn't your fault. if not impossible." This is the point at which you can clearly see the next level of promotion . you've hit what's known as the "glass ceiling. similar to what we experience at the death of a loved one: denial. the glass ceiling was a concept applied to women and some minorities. Breaking the Glass Ceiling Reaching for the Top with Everyday Tools Do you feel that you've gone as far as you can with your current employer? Despite knowing that you have much more potential. Tip: Now that you no longer have a boss to manage your performance. you've learned from it. despite your best effort. Again. If you feel like you're stuck in one particular stage and can't move past it. and keep moving forward. for them to reach . give yourself a performance appraisal at regular intervals. you might skip some stages. then seek help so you can move forward. Talk about your emotions. And the best news? You've faced the difficulties of losing a job. Traditionally. anger. or go through all five: everyone is different. Key Points Losing a job can be emotionally upsetting and overwhelming. is there a limit for "people like you" in your organization? If so. depression and acceptance. an invisible barrier seems to stop you from proceeding. It was very hard. do something productive. Give yourself time to work through each stage. You're a talented. bargaining. Assess your work skills and also how you're doing at looking for another job. There's no set time limit for any of these stages. exciting person with a lot to offer in your next job.yet. Many experts agree that people go through five stages of loss or grief. or if it was your fault. incredible.
Have you been pushed up against a glass ceiling? This can happen for many different reasons. . No matter how qualified or experienced. risk takers." However. This is the first step toward discovering how to position yourself for a top leadership role. Are you too much the champion of change? Do you have difficulty communicating your ideas? Are you quieter and less outgoing than the people who get promotions? Whatever the reason. you have a choice. here are some steps to take. they simply were not given opportunities to further advance their careers. You can accept your situation and be happy with looking up and not being able to touch what you see. However. want to break through that glass. If you do. These skills are often tied closely to the organization's culture and vision.47 upper management positions. Companies that value innovation and strive to be leaders will probably promote individuals who are outgoing. if you work for a conservative company (such as a publicly owned utility) chances are that top management are analytical thinkers. there are many more women and minorities in powerful positions. with a reputation for avoiding risk and making careful decisions. indeed. Identify the Key Competencies within Your Organization Key competencies are the common skills and attributes of the people in your company's upper levels. Ask yourself these questions: • • • What are the values of your organization? What behaviors does your company value and reward? What type of person is promoted? Understand what sets your company and its leaders apart. or you can smash the glass with purpose and determination. and not afraid to "tell it like it is. Today. the glass ceiling is still very real. And it's not always limited to gender or race.
Don't set a goal to achieve a certain position by a certain time. read Core Competence Analysis and Deal and Kennedy's Cultural Model. You never know who may be in a position to help you or . because it probably won't be handed to you. and attributes. no matter what job title you have. If you achieve that goal. For example. This can be discouraging if it doesn't happen. Do the following: • • • Let your boss know that you want to work toward a higher-level position. Start with the introduction to communication skills.48 To further clarify these ideas. Communication skills will help you. set a goal to consistently demonstrate assertive and clear communication. Build Your Network You should also build relationships with other people in your organization. Each of these is complex. Work together with your boss to set goals and objectives. regardless of the level you want to reach in your career. and learn to use as many of these tools as possible. Two universal competencies for top management are effective leadership and effective communication. • Set Objectives to Align Your Competencies with Top Management Once you know your target. set goals to get there. skills. you've succeeded! See Personal Goal Setting for more ideas on how to define motivating goals. then monitor and measure your performance. • Read everything you can about leadership styles. Remember to concentrate on areas of your performance that you can improve. Ask your boss what skill areas you need to develop. You may also want to consider taking the Mind Tools How to Lead course. Mind Tools has an excellent collection of articles on Leadership Skills. You're responsible for determining your own career direction. Be proactive and go after what you want.
Use the climate in your organization to your advantage. Try these tips: • • • Reach out to new people on a regular basis. Many people tend to think it's best to make friends at the top. Ask yourself these questions: • • • Is there someone in upper management you can approach to help you? Will your boss be able to provide mentoring support? Are there people with strong political power who can offer you assistance? Read Finding a Mentor for details on what to look for in a mentor . and old ideas are often long established at the top of many organizations. to be effective and actually make it to the top. Is upper management reluctant to work with certain types of individuals? Do they exclude certain people from important communications? A mentor can help you learn how to get connected to the information and people who can help you. While "politicking" is often seen as negative. A mentor can also be a great source of ideas for your professional development and growth. you can help your career by understanding and using the political networks in your company. Find a Mentor Having a mentor is a powerful way to break through the glass ceiling. Past practices. Get involved with cross-functional teams. It's important to network in all areas and levels of your company. However. you may have to look elsewhere for opportunities. The barriers that you face have likely been there for a long time. biases and stereotypes. Read more about Professional Networking. you'll need the support of colleagues at other levels as well. Expand your professional network outside of your organization.49 provide you with valuable information. If you can't break the glass ceiling in your company.
see What's Your Reputation? Know Your Rights Finally. the way to get ahead is to get noticed. That means proactively managing every . you need to champion and market yourself. Key Points To get ahead and reach the leadership level you want. those at the top can see down. Remember. leadership abilities. Identify places where your reputation is not what you want it to be. Speak up and contribute in meetings. Mind Tools' article on Avoiding Discrimination shows you how to protect yourself if you face this regrettable situation. Know that you're doing everything right. while you can see up.50 and ideas on how to find one. Build Your Reputation Ultimately. Make sure that what they see is you! Follow these guidelines: • • • • Seek high-profile projects. technical knowledge. you need to build a reputation as the kind of person who fits the description of top management. watch for discriminatory behavior. and develop plans to change them. Sometimes biases and stereotyping can cross the line into discrimination. Visibility is very important. Share ideas with peers as well as people in higher positions. It's unfortunate for both you and your organization when situations like this occur. communication skills. To do this. Don't just accept frustration and failure. You want people to see your competence. Develop your skills and network with people so that your name becomes associated with top management potential. For more tips on building the right kind of reputation. and any other competencies that are typical of people at the top. and arm yourself with a good understanding of your rights regarding official company policies and local laws.
Apply some of the ideas in this article. consider the following: • • • • Do you have a career plan in place? If you don't. What we can do is develop the skills that the company values. or anyone in your organization. hopefully. not weakness. what's going to happen now? Does this mean that you'll also have to change your job? Or is this a good opportunity to make a great first impression. If you can't seem to break through a glass ceiling. You probably didn't plan for it. Apply This to Your Life If you're frustrated with your career advancement. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone. and monitor your progress.51 step of your career. who can help you change that? We all need to make our own success. Ask for support and assistance . Yet. and you may find new zones of opportunity. We can't all be exactly the type of upper management person our company wants. So. • Getting a New Boss Starting an important new relationship in a positive way You may not have asked for it. You can then build and showcase the skills that will help you climb the corporate ladder.this is a sign of strength. but most people don't succeed all on their own. and. Do you feel alone and unsupported in your career goals? If so. now is the time to make one! Does your boss. a mentor. and potentially change the direction of your . they may keep you in the same position and assume you're happy there. The ceiling won't be removed unless you do something about it. know what your goals are? Unless people know what you want. and a new boss is arriving to take his or her place. What areas for skill development have been pointed out to you in the past? Are you making improvements? Are you facing a glass ceiling? Recognizing that the ceiling exists is the first step. like it or not. a strong network. Arm yourself with a development plan as well as the help of your boss. your old boss is leaving. you might have to work harder than others.
So. during which you'll both "settle in" and get used to each other. it's similar to when you first started your current job – you have to work to make a positive impression. your new boss may be the ‘new hire'. but doesn't know . different policies. you are also new to your new boss. He or she may have been promoted from within the team or from elsewhere in the organization. as well as which problems to avoid. you'll discover what's usually important for new bosses. so expect to change the way you work.52 career? Many people in this situation limit their thinking to what has changed about themselves – which. Whether or not you worked well with your old boss is no longer relevant. There's a proper balance that you can find. Who's Really the "New Hire"? In some cases. 2. Your new boss understands that he or she doesn't really know the work you do. In this article. But you also need to know how and when to act. However. Your New Boss's Background Your new boss may come from one of many different backgrounds. Or your new boss may have had a similar position in another company – or even an entirely different role. and you'll learn how to make a positive and appreciated contribution that's good for both of you. you're not facing reality. in this case. You don't want to overwhelm – or underwhelm – your new boss. This person needs your help. and even a different management style. and prove yourself. It's up to you to build a relationship with your new boss. However. Your new boss thinks he or she knows what you do. In many ways. and expect to experience a three-month adjustment period. The situation has now changed: if you simply keep doing what you did before. and you have to be supportive. Things will likely be different. You need to accept that this really is a new opportunity to make a first impression (this is one of the rare times that this possibility exists). This can lead to three possibilities: 1. but doesn't. a new boss will likely have different opinions. so the boss may look to you for help. is nothing.
Perhaps your old boss knew exactly what to do in all situations. If you do either of these. (If you were competing for the job. you're setting yourself up for conflict and failure. Whatever you might have thought about other candidates for the job (including. Even if your new boss knows what you do. He or she may not have detailed knowledge that you can use to check your work. and particularly if your new boss is an ex-colleague. Your new boss knows what you do. Your goal is to educate tactfully. and don't be disrespectful towards your new boss. Remember that your boss is also a "gatekeeper. you must face the reality that your company made a choice. "Sucking up" may bother your boss as well as your colleagues." with the ability to allow you – or deny you – access to a number of things that can impact your job satisfaction. Offer your help. but your boss has several relationships to manage with all team members. Tip: Be helpful. But your new boss may have a more general management background. or may not be able to offer advice on specific topics (this can be particularly true if you have a technical role).53 it. considerately. and sufficiently. On the other hand. don't sulk about not getting the job yourself. You have one relationship to manage with your boss. this can be a significant opportunity for you to accept a new level of autonomy and responsibility – and get great career experience! Making the Relationship Work An important step in managing the relationship with your new boss is to accept it. Our article Managing Your Boss discusses these situations as well as how to make adjustments for a boss's weaknesses that you may discover as the 90-day settling-in period continues. and then assess how your new boss reacts to your help: this will help you strengthen the relationship. so you can focus on the other aspects of building your working relationship. perhaps. your relationship needs to be a top priority for you. However.) Some parts of this situation don't apply equally. but don't appear too eager. yourself). because she did your job before you got there. . this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll interact with this person the same way you did with your old boss. 3. and you have to work with this new person.
Learning about and understanding the team members: This means not only getting to know them. while making sure that what's asked of you is still realistic. • • Necessary Conversations with Your New Boss Here's a checklist of what you and your new boss should understand and agree upon as you get to know each other. Use common sense.. because this will help confirm to upper management that they made the right hiring choice. Learn what your boss's expectations are: What does your new boss want from you now and in the longer-term future? How will your success be measured? If you understand what will help your new boss succeed (see above).54 Helping Your New Boss Succeed Your new boss will likely target several goals during the early weeks and months. These conversations can range from informal chats at the coffee machine to formal meetings in your boss's office or elsewhere. and mutual availability as your guiding factors. For example. Our workbook Congratulations on Your New Role. individual preferences. and linking tangible results with longer-term business goals. • Determine how your boss views the current situation: Find out how your new boss sees things. but at least you'll know. Now What? covers this in detail.and it may therefore show you how you can make a positive impact: • Building competence and learning the new role: This includes dealing with information overload and creating a learning plan. this will help you relate to his or her expectations. but we've summarized some of the information here. but also figuring out who the key players are. does your new boss think that the objective is to maintain a currently strong position or turn around declining performance? You may not agree on every point. Creating quick wins to establish credibility: Credibility also means focusing on results that are important to the new boss's boss. This is what your new boss is likely to be thinking .. Figure out your boss's working style: What you do • • .
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